The Work Visa USA Requirements is what would be discussed in detail in this article. If you are a foreigner and you wish to work in the United States, you would be needing a Work Visa as this would help you work legally. But what are the requirements for the USA work visa? If you have this question in mind, you should keep on reading.
Work Visa USA Requirements
Before we proceed to the requirements needed to apply for this Visa work permit, you should take note of some important points. Firstly, there are several work visas provided by the United States Government. Secondly, the Visa you apply for is based on the length of time you intend to work, your qualification, and other factors. Obtaining this Visa would be much easier when your employer is ready for a Visa Sponsorship.
What is a Work Visa?
Also known as a Work Permit, this is a document that allows foreigners to work in another country legally for a length of time. So many countries use this document as a pass to allow immigrants to work in their countries. This includes the United States of America. If you are not a green card holder, you would need this visa to work in the U.S.
For immigrants without a Permanent Residents Card (Green card), they need an Employment Authorization Document from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to work legally in America.
Requirements for a Work Visa in the U.S
Below are the general requirements you must meet to be qualified for the USA work visa application:
- You must have a job offer in America. This is because your employer would be the one filing a petition for you to get the visa. Before you think of getting a work permit in the U.S, you must have applied for and gotten a Job in the country.
- In addition to this, your employer needs to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL). This is proof that the company needs employees and has not found any qualified U.S citizens to fill up the position.
- Also, the petition filed by your employer must be approved before you can start applying for the work permit. A petition for your visa application is required by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from your employer. When this petition is approved by USCIS, you can go ahead to begin the application.
These are the major requirement you need to apply for this visa. If you meet them, there are high chances that you would get the work permit successfully.
Types of Work Visa USA
As earlier stated in this article, there are over different types of work permits you can apply for to work in the United States. Below is the list of work visas in the U.S and their details:
This is a Temporary Work Visa in the USA and one of the most common work permits. To apply for this visa, you need to have a concrete job offer and at least a bachelor’s degree. This visa type is for specialty occupations and this would be determined by USCIS.
This visa type is easier to obtain than the first one. If you want to apply for this temporary work permit, your employer does not need to file a petition. All he/she needs to do is to obtain a Labor Certification from the United States Department of Labor (DOL).
The third on the list is the H-2A Visa which is open to those who want to work in agricultural jobs in the U.S. This visa type is for temporary agricultural workers who are foreigners. To begin an application for this visa, your employer must file a petition also known as Form I-129 on your behalf and you must also receive a notice of approval from USCIS.
Another type of temporary work permit is the H-2B visa. This visa is for seasonal skilled and unskilled workers who are foreigners. To obtain this visa, a Foreign Labor certification must be obtained by your employer.
This Visa is a temporary visa open to foreigners who want to receive job training that is not available in their own country. This visa does not permit graduate training or any academic education.
Mainly for dependents, the H-4 work permit allows a foreigner who is under the age of 21 to accompany their relatives who have any of the H work permits to the United States. Simply put, you can apply for this visa on behalf of your spouse or child who is under 21 when you have a work permit yourself. If the individual can get this visa, he/she would be able to accompany you to the U.S but would not be able to work.
The Visas listed above are the common temporary work permits offered by the U.S Federal government. Other visa types include the Q, P, O, and L visas which are all temporary work permits.
Documents Needed for Work Visa USA Application
Before you begin the application process, you need to get some documents ready. These documents include:
- A DS-160 form. This form is also called the Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application form. This form can be filled out online and you can also print it out. To get this form, visit the Consular Electronic Application web page with this link- https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/You also need a valid passport that would last six months after you return.
- Also, you would need a US visa photo which would be uploaded as you fill the form online.
- For the L visa applicants, you need to fill out an I-129S form. This form is known as the Nonimmigrant petition based on the blanket L petition.
- Other necessary documents you would be needing are evidence that you have made payments for the visa and proof that you would return to your home country after the work is over.
These are the general documents that would be required during the application process. Based on the work permit you wish to apply for, other documents may be required from you.
Work Visa USA Cost
The fee for obtaining this Visa differs. This is based on the type of Visa, your nationality, the application procedures, and other factors. Some applicants are required to pay an issuance fee after their application has been approved and this applies to some countries. To learn more about the cost of the USA work visa, you should visit the Travel.State.Gov website with this link- https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html
Apply for US Work Visa
Having known this much about the work permit, you may be interested in applying for one. This section of the article would teach you how to apply successfully. So, keep on reading.
How to Apply for Working Visa in the USA
- With your internet connected device, click on this link- https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/
- Choose your location, enter your code in the required field and click on “START AN APPLICATION”.
- Complete the security question on your screen to obtain an application ID which you would use to log in at the portal later on.
- On the opened form, correctly fill in your “Personal Information”, “Family information” and other required details.
- Follow the rest instructions on your screen to upload the required documents and submit the form.
- Next, you have to pay the refundable application fee on the portal with any of the payment options that suit you.
- The next step is to schedule an interview on your Profile. You can cancel this interview at any time.
When your appointment is scheduled, you can now visit the U.S Embassy or Consulate on the date and time of the interview. Remember to go with your appointment later, passport, DS-160 form confirmation page, and every other document required of you.
How Long does it take to get a U.S Work Visa?
After the application process is completed, you may be wondering how long you have to wait to receive this visa. You may have to wait for a few to several weeks to get the work permit. This is because the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) take a long time to process the application. Also, the type of work visa you apply for can also extend or shorten the process.
Can I get a US work visa without a Job Offer?
No. If you want to work legally in the U.S, you need to have a job offer from a U.S employer. Your employer plays an important role during the application process such as filing a petition as earlier stated in this article.
Is the U.S Work Visa the Same as a Green Card?
No. the work visa is a temporary work permit and is used by immigrants who wish to work legally in the U.S for a limited time. The green card on the other hand is also known as the permanent resident card. As the name implies, owners of this card have the right to work in any company they want in the U.S. They are also given the privilege that citizens enjoy.
Can I Extend the Validity of my Work Visa?
No, you can’t. If you wish to extend your stay in the U.S after your work visa has expired, you would need to apply for another one.
Is it hard to get a U.S Work Visa?
You may be bothered about your application for the work permit getting approved. Even though the process may look rigorous and take a long time, you may get the visa. To be on the safer side, you need to secure a good job before you start the application.
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